Data is the lubricant of the digital transformation at SHV Energy

Interview with Jagoda Leszczynska, Global Master Data Manager at SHV Energy

SHV Energy is faced with the challenge to give shape and content to the digital transformation worldwide. The group concluded that data management is a crucial factor in this. Together with Altares Dun & Bradstreet, SHV Energy started an extensive project to optimize master data management in global procurement.

SHV Energy is a family business that saw the light of day in 1896 as the Steenkolen Handels Vereniging (SHV). In the past, almost 125 years, the group has grown into a multinational organization consisting of a group of specialized energy companies. These companies offer private individuals and companies decentralized and personalized energy solutions and services. SHV Energy has built up a leading position and serves customers who often live or work in areas outside the regular, local natural gas grid. They depend on and rely on SHV Energy’s companies for their main energy sources.

Data is the lubricant of the digital transformation at SHV Energy

Interview with Jagoda Leszczynska, Global Master Data Manager at SHV Energy

SHV Energy is faced with the challenge to give shape and content to the digital transformation worldwide. The group concluded that data management is a crucial factor in this. Together with Altares Dun & Bradstreet, SHV Energy started an extensive project to optimize master data management in global procurement.

SHV Energy is a family business that saw the light of day in 1896 as the Steenkolen Handels Vereniging (SHV). In the past, almost 125 years, the group has grown into a multinational organization consisting of a group of specialized energy companies. These companies offer private individuals and companies decentralized and personalized energy solutions and services. SHV Energy has built up a leading position and serves customers who often live or work in areas outside the regular, local natural gas grid. They depend on and rely on SHV Energy’s companies for their main energy sources.

1. The challenge

Enormous transition

With all these different and widely distributed energy companies, SHV Energy meets the needs of more than 30 million customers on four continents. They use different forms of energy for hundreds of applications. SHV Energy continues to develop and has set strong ambitions. The company expects global energy consumption to double in the next 30 years. At the same time, it has set itself the goal of fully switching to sustainable energy by 2040. This means that SHV Energy will have to go through an enormous transition, supplying different products and tapping into new sustainable sources. This development does not stand alone, of course. The entire international energy market is changing very rapidly and it is in that force field that the original Dutch company will have to maintain and expand its leading position.

To meet the challenges outlined, SHV Energy started a digital transformation a few years ago. This digitalization was primarily used to enable the group to collaborate better with all the dispersed locations and to centralize activities. One of the first initiatives in this context was the establishment of a central Procurement team. Jagoda Leszczynska, Global Master Data Manager at SHV Energy, outlines the challenges. “Each business unit have their own procurement department. For example, we are working with many different ERP systems around the world, were unable to clean up data adequately and had not formulated policies and governance regarding master data. One of the consequences of this was that it was difficult to report on our various KPIs in a standardized manner and that decisions were largely made based on feelings rather than facts. In addition, it was difficult to identify which of our suppliers belong to the same group. In short, the technological infrastructure and our data management had to be set up in such a way that we would be able to gain more insight into our suppliers”.

According to Leszczynska, it comes down to SHV Energy:

  • Must be able to define a strategy for category management based on reliable data.
  • It must be able to proactively manage business-critical suppliers.
  • Gain more insight into the results of the various business units and the KPIs.
  • Identify the same suppliers within the various databases

Each business unit have their own procurement department. For example, we are working with many different ERP systems around the world, were unable to clean up data adequately and had not formulated policies and governance regarding master data.”

2. The solution

Extra service with self-service

The Master Data Management project is supported by the solutions of Altares Dun & Bradstreet. The D-U-N-S number of Altares Dun & Bradstreet plays a central role as an essential part of the range of solutions in the field of Procurement. These solutions make it possible:

  • Reduce costs during the procurement process.
  • Improve the performance of suppliers.
  • Avoiding or mitigating the consequences of possible supply interruptions.
  • Protect the reputation; non-performance of suppliers radiates out on the company’s own business.
  • Identify common suppliers across different databases.

These are exactly the reasons why SHV Energy chose Altares Dun & Bradstreet. “Using the D-U-N-S number, we can find out everything we need to know about the suppliers in question. After all, the number is unique and therefore points conclusively to one parent company, subsidiary, head office or branch. We started by mapping out the structure of these companies so that we could identify suppliers that are connected. We also enriched the profiles of these suppliers and supplemented them with data that we did not yet have. At the same time, we removed duplicates and inactive entities of suppliers. This is how we started to clean up our database,” says Leszczynska. “The next step – the API integration – was to link our existing Source to Contract procurement system to the Altares Dun & Bradstreet database. With this real-time connection we get automatic updates about changes in the profile and business structure of our suppliers. This link also makes it possible to use the D-U-N-S number in SHV Energy’s supplier onboarding process”.

The implementation of the API was pretty straightforward. It is modern and offers a so-called type-ahead function. This shows possible matches while typing. We also have access to rich information sets, such as family structures and sectors.”

3. The result

Sustainable future

As a Master Data Management expert, Leszczynska is very satisfied with how SHV Energy now has access to accurate, complete, unique and up-to-date data based on which suppliers can be ‘scored’. “Thanks to the consistency and quality of data, we now have more insight into our supplier network and who our main suppliers are. We can act proactively on this; we are in control much more than ever before. At the same time, we now have the data available to enable buyers to negotiate better contracts. We now know much more accurately that several of our suppliers belong to the same group”.

Benefits

Leszczynska emphasizes that SHV Energy has made great strides with master data management in the procurement segment. The results speak for themselves:

  • The risks have been greatly reduced. Business-critical suppliers can now be financially scored. This benefits business continuity.
  • Category management gets an impulse now that SHV Energy has clarified the hierarchy between different suppliers. At the same time, reporting is now structurally based on standard KPI’s, making business intelligence more reliable.
  • SHV Energy can carry out various process optimizations. Think, for example, of purchase to pay and sharing data across different IT systems. The supplier onboarding process also gets an impulse now that duplicates have disappeared from the database. It goes faster and without errors.

Sustainable future

Jagoda Leszczynska knows that with SHV Energy she can still take some big steps when it comes to master data management. Among other things, she is thinking of visualizing the family structure of supplier companies. “We also see opportunities to automate the monitoring of critical suppliers, allowing us to act even faster. And now that we as SHV Energy are striving for a fully sustainable energy supply, we are looking for opportunities to score suppliers on sustainability. We know that we can rely on the knowledge and expertise of Altares Dun & Bradstreet, which we have at our side as a strategic partner. I am very satisfied with the cooperation with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. They understand the data and the business. Together, we are going to take steps towards a sustainable future”.

We know that we can rely on the knowledge and expertise of Altares Dun & Bradstreet, which we have at our side as a strategic partner. I am very satisfied with the cooperation with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. They understand the data and the business. Together, we are going to take steps towards a sustainable future”.

Challenges

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